65 year-old Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who has been in prison for more than 35 years on trumped charges of killing two FBI agents in 1975, has been placed in solitary confinement for two minor infractions, according to Democracy Now. Peltier has long maintained his innocence and is a political prisoner, being punished for his support and activism within the American Indian Movement (see here for more).
Meanwhile, prisoners in California have entered the third week of a hunger strike against deplorable living conditions. The strike began at Pelican Bay, where many of the state’s most violent prisoners live in SHUs (Security Housing Units) often confined for 23 or more hours a day, in isolation. Prisoners in the SHU are placed in 6-by-10 foot isolation cells. The strikers are calling for an end to the isolation units and the “debriefings” in which prisoners are subjected to lengthy interrogations to determine if they are in gangs. Several of the strikers’ health has deteriorated to critical levels, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today.